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EFFECTS OF GAME TECHNIQUE ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ORAL ENGLISH IN NSUKKA EDUCATION ZONE



ABSTRACT

This study was carried our to find the effects of game technique and influence of gender on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. Three research questions were generated and three null hypotheses formulated to guide the study. The research design used in the study was a quasi- experimental pretest, posttest, non-equivalent group design involving one experimental group and one control group. A total of (44 males and females) senior secondary class 11 students were used in the study. The instrument used for the study was a researcher-constructed 60 objective tests in Oral English. An internal consistency reliability coefficient was determined for the 60 objective questions in Oral English using K-R 20. The internal consistency estimate obtained was 0.86, which is considered high. Pretest and posttest from the study were administered to the experimental and control groups. The data generated from the study were analyzed using the mean, standard deviation and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA)It was found that there was a significant effect of game technique on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English. Also, gender had no significant influence in the mean achievement scores of students in Oral English. Some recommendations were made based on the findings.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

          The English language is the native language of the British. Its use in Nigeria is one of the aftermaths of the colonization of Nigeria by Britain. According to Otagburuagu (2002), the English Language is one of the important legacies Nigeria inherited from the British. So, the teaching and learning of the English language dates back to the early days of British colonization efforts and the introduction of Western Education by the early Christian Missionaries. The adoption of the English language as an official language in Nigeria dates back to 1842. Azikiwe (1998) states that the English Language was introduced in Nigeria in 1842 by the first batch of missionaries who arrived in Badagry for education and evangelization.

          In Nigeria, the English language is the medium of communication. According to Otagburuagu (2002), the national language dilemma makes it necessary that English is used for inter- ethnic communication. The English language is a binding force in the Nigerian society. It is the language of administration, government, judiciary, science and technology, among others.

          The English language occupies a central position in the school system. It is a core subject, which is required for admission into higher institutions and for occupations and employment. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN); (2007) recognizes the importance of the English language and made its study compulsory in primary and secondary schools through out the federation. According to this policy, from primary four to tertiary institution, English shall be progressively used as a medium of instruction at these levels of education. In line with this, the examination boards such as WAEC, NECO and JAMB made the English Language a core subject in their examinations. Ufomata (2005) re-emphasized that in education, English is introduced as a core subject from the first year in primary schools and used as a medium of instruction from primary four through secondary and tertiary education. As a result, the teaching and learning of the English language has been on the increase.

          The teaching and learning of the English language involve four skills. These are listening, speaking, reading and writing. Elugbe (2000) states that of the four language skills, listening and speaking receive less attention in many Nigerian schools from the primary to tertiary institutions. Some education planners, implementers or the classroom teachers seem not to realize that each of these language skills is a component of the language itself. According to Ogugua (2006), a deficiency in one of them contributes negatively to one’s proficiency in another component and, in the long run, the entire language.

          Oral English, as the spoken component is commonly called in Nigerian schools, is an important aspect of the English Language. According to Idowu, Segbesan, Adofo, Burgess and Burgess (2003), Oral English is an important paper in the West African School Certificate English Language Examination. It should, therefore, be taken as seriously as the other two papers. However, Oral English is not given adequate attention in the classroom. Elugbe (2000) states that in many schools, it is introduced to students belatedly. Even after it has been introduced, its teaching lacks the use of different techniques. According to Ogugua (2006), the students are rarely exposed to short dialogues, conversations, narratives etc., which will help them to practice and internalize what they are being taught.

          The skills needed for good performance in Oral English is not the exclusive monopoly of the phoneticians. These skills (recognition of phonetic symbols, proper articulation of sounds, application of stress and intonation etc.) are also accessible to everyone who needs to communicate a message to someone else through speech. Unfortunately, many students have been unable to acquire the skills needed to enable them perform well in Oral English. The result is their poor performance in Oral English. According to Chief Examiner’s report (2005), candidates had difficulty in answering questions on sound systems and this led to their poor performance in Oral English,   which eventually affects their performance in the English language in general. According to Achebe (1994), the quality of the English language spoken in Nigeria has been falling rapidly and will fall more dramatically in the next few years. This is practically because Oral English is not given adequate attention in classroom teaching. Stressing further on students’ poor performance in Oral English, Eyisi (2002) asserts that:

Oral English seems to be at the center of our education woes. Certainly, the concern is not only about the apparent students’ poor performance in the English language as a subject of study per se but generally their poor communication skills and the resultant fallen/falling standard of education in all areas of enquiry (p.7).

Again, the poor performance of students in Oral English is caused by the students’ inadequate exposure to Oral English in their secondary schools. This is because teachers still place more emphasis on written English thereby denying students the instruction and practice in Oral English. From the foregoing, it is clear that the teaching and learning of Oral English has suffered greatly in the senior secondary schools. This leads to students’ poor performance in Oral English, which in turn affects their performance in the English language in general.

          There are several techniques at the disposal of Oral English teachers for teaching Oral English. Drill is a good technique for teaching Oral English. According to Byrne (2000), drills are a form of linguistic technique, requiring the learners to perform correctly the language materials presented to them. In this way, students get extensive practice in the language. Use of drills by the Oral English teacher increases the students’ participation in the class. The use of drill derives largely from an approach to language learning, which has been mostly superseded — one that placed emphasis on the formation of correct habits and avoidance of mistakes. This makes them gain some confidence and fluency at all level of pronunciation and also in those areas of language system, which require a good deal of practice. Such drills that can be used by Oral English teacher include repetition drills, substitution drills, transformation drills, guessing drills and question and answer drills. For the purpose of this research, the researcher laid emphasis on the repetition drills. Repetition drill is the control or convention technique.

          Repetition drills require the students to repeat the language items that have been presented to them. According to Tice (2006), repetition drills place emphasis on repeating structural patterns through oral practice. In this type of drill, the teacher says a word or a sentence at a time, students repeat in chorus, in small groups or pairs or singly. Since it is necessary for all the students to be given adequate practice, choral or group work should be the rule rather than the exception.

          Game is another technique at the disposal of an Oral English teacher for teaching Oral English. According to Okeke (2001), a game is a form of play governed by certain rules or conventions. It is usually meant to be enjoyed. However, language games are not just a diversion, they must also contribute to language proficiency in some way by getting the learners use the language during the game. A language game is, therefore, students’ practice technique. Learning through games can be interesting, exciting and at the same time academically rewarding. Games not only improve the learners’ command of the language but also provide the learners with opportunities to use the language. Language games include; pronunciation game, computer assisted learning game, a game with minimal pairs, twenty questions, desert island, guessing game, and memory game among, others. For the purpose of this research, emphasis would be on pronunciation game.

Pronunciation game is a contest whereby the class is split into smaller groups or even pairs and each group or pair tries to beat the other in the production of the sounds of the target language. Pronunciation game is primarily concerned with developing control of specific aspects of the sound system of a language. According to Byrne (2000), pronunciation game is essential for promoting competence at the receptive and productive levels of language learning. In pronunciation game, the skills being developed are production, identification and discrimination. The use of pronunciation game therefore creates situations in which the learners are induced to respond appropriately in the target language.

          Gender is a factor that is believed to influence Oral English teaching and learning. The issue of gender has generated a lot of controversies in all works of life, particularly in the field of education. This has given rise to many definitions of gender. Maduabum (2000) sees gender as musculanity and feminity dichotomy. Lortie (2001) defines gender as social definitions of male and female. It represents a socially constructed concept and not a fact of nature with specific biological imperatives. Gender as a factor in academic performance has for some time now generated a lot of concern for education at different levels. This concern arose because of differential gender achievement in all subjects offered in schools. Tucker (2003) believes that females tend to perform better than their male counterparts in art subjects while the reverse is the case in subjects that require calculations. On the other hand, Opara (2003) focused on the vocabulary aspect of the English language and came up with the result that males performed better than the females. Also, Offorma (1987) attempted to identify students’ interests in learning French and the constraints encountered by the teachers of French in the application of students’ interest in teaching the language. One of her findings was that no significant differences existed in the interests as indicated by male and female students.

          In view of the above, it is clear that senior secondary school students perform poorly in Oral English. Researches have shown that the use of games is very effective in teaching Mathematics in primary schools. Njoku (1994) investigated the use of games in teaching multiplication in primary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. He concluded that pupils taught multiplication using games performed better than pupils taught using the conventional technique. Also, Maley and Duff (2001) conducted a study on the use of games in teaching English Grammar and concluded that games promote effective teaching and learning of English grammar. Such researches using games have not been carried out in the area of Oral English. The researcher, therefore, intends to fill this gap by investigating the effects of game technique on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English in public senior secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone.

Statement of the Problem

          The English language is Nigeria’s official language. It is the medium through which Nigerians interact with the outside world. It is also a core subject in Nigerian secondary schools. Oral English is an important aspect of the English language. However, the teaching and learning of Oral English has been faced with several problems. One of such problems is teachers’ use of inappropriate techniques in teaching Oral English in senior secondary schools. The result is that many senior secondary school students are unable to acquire the skills needed to enable them perform well in Oral English. Their inability to acquire the skills therefore, leads to their poor performance in Oral English, which eventually affects their performance in the English language in general. Researches have shown  that the use games  is very effective  in teaching  the  grammar  aspect  of  the   English  language  and  Mathematics. Such  researches using games have not been carried out in Oral English. Therefore, the question, which this study sets out to find an answer to, is:

What are the effects of game technique on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English?

Purpose of the Study

          The general purpose of this study is to determine the effects of game technique and gender on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English.

          Specifically the study seeks to:                                       

1.  Find out the effects of games on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English.

2.  Determine the effects of gender on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English.

3.  Determine the effects of interaction between treatments and gender on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English.

Significance of the Study

The teaching of Oral English in senior secondary schools has suffered a lot of problems, which hamper students’ achievement in Oral English. One of such problems is teacher’s use of inappropriate technique in teaching Oral English. Therefore, if students are to improve their achievement in Oral English, it is proper that they are adequately taught Oral English by using the appropriate teaching technique. Hence, this study which tries to find out the effects of game technique on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English is hoped to provide succour for Oral English teachers by empirically providing an instructional technique that will improve students’ achievement in Oral English. This is very important because the use of a teaching technique that appeals to the students will increase the learners’ active participation in the lesson which consequently leads to an overall improvement of students’ performance in Oral English.

It is hoped that the findings of the study will enhance the teachers’ achievement of the objectives of the lesson in Oral English. This is because the game technique has a wide range of activities for use in the classroom.

Also, the curriculum planners will find this study useful in the planning of the curriculum. They in turn will emphasize the use of the technique by teachers to achieve maximum result from the students. They may equally find the result of the study useful when trying to match curriculum objectives with appropriate techniques of instruction.

It is also hoped that through the findings of this study, educational administrators and principals of schools may become aware of the benefits of game technique and so encourage teachers in their schools to start using the technique in teaching the students Oral English. Authors of Oral English textbooks may become aware of the merits of this technique through the findings of this research, and may start creating this awareness to people by organizing Oral English exercises that involve the use of games in their textbooks.

The significance of this study also has some theoretical basis. Game technique is deeply rooted on the theory of mentalism. This is because the technique believes that the development of communicative competence of the student is an internal process, hence, whatever experience the learner is exposed to is to enhance the processes inside him. These processes normally determine the sequence of learning followed by the learner. Learning always takes place when the learner interacts with his environment. The use of game technique will therefore, help the students develop their critical minds or abilities while finding solutions to different language tasks presented to them by their teacher. Through this way, students gain meaningful learning in the target language.     

Scope of the Study

This study is delimited to SS II students in senior secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State.

The content covers pure vowels, diphthongs, consonant sounds and word stress.

Specifically, the research focused on the use of repetition drill and pronunciation game. Repetition drill is the control or conventional technique while pronunciation game is the experimental technique.

Research Questions

          The following research questions guided the study.    

1.  To what extent does the use of games affect senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English?

2.  What is the influence of gender on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English?

3.  What is the effect of interaction between treatments and gender on senior secondary school students’ achievement in Oral English?

Hypotheses

          The following null hypotheses formulated guided the study.

1 There is no significant difference between the mean achievement scores of students taught Oral English with games and those taught with drills.

·         Gender is not a significant factor in the mean achievement scores of students in Oral English.

·         There is no significant interaction effect between treatments and gender on the mean achievement scores of students in Oral English.

 


EFFECTS OF GAME TECHNIQUE ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ORAL ENGLISH IN NSUKKA EDUCATION ZONE


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All Project Materials Inc. (2020). EFFECTS OF GAME TECHNIQUE ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN ORAL ENGLISH IN NSUKKA EDUCATION ZONE. Available at: https://allprojectmaterials.com/department/paper-8823.html. [Accessed: ].

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